Thursday, June 16, 2011

Practically perfect pigs....

It's a Pigs world!

Long, long ago, a poor Chinese peasant one day returned home to find his bamboo house burned down. All that remained was a heap of glowing embers, and his hog, his cherished hog that was to have supplied boiled meat for the family, lay here beside the embers, dead and roasted. Without thinking what he was doing he rushed forward, grabbed a leg, and drew it clear. Boy, oh boy! Was it hot! He put his tender fingers to his lips to soothe the pain and found to his surprise a pleasing taste. Could it be that the taste of roasted hog was good, far better than the taste of boiled meat? The flesh was sampled to confirm the fact that it was indeed delectable fare.
Pigs, never thought I'd be blogging about pigs. Pigs make the world go round here in Bosnia. If it isn't a carbohydrate driven world here, they have the most delicious bread ever, it's a pig driven world. Everywhere you go you see, sausages, bacon, whole pigs, pigs in grocery cases or hanging up in the corner of the meat department, pigs being cooked, and pigs being grown. Funny thing is, I have really hard time eating pork. We bought bacon once, a few months back, it wasn't my favorite. Very salty and had a ton of bone in it. We haven't bought it again. Jim will order pork in a restaurant sometimes, mostly because his wife doesn't cook it for him, and he enjoys that. Whenever we go to a Bosnian celebration we have pork, and it's really pretty good, but then again, I'm not the one cooking it. I pretty much stick to chicken. I might have a great aversion to that by the time I get home. What do ya think?

Why my fascination with pigs? Well, for several months now we have been trying to figure out how to help our little Tadic family become more self reliant. They have nine people in their family and are barely scraping by, really, really struggling. Between both mom and dad working they are not really even keeping their heads above water. The cost of living is so out of whack compared to the low wages here. Food costs, utilities especially electricity is horrible, gas is about $8.00 a gallon and education expenses along with dental and medical costs are just overwhelming this family. If you remember last year, our kids went together and provided firewood for the family. Jim helped split it and I helped stack, but that isn't really the answer because fall will come around faster than ever this year and fire wood will be an issue again. Self reliance, sustainability and a better income is what is needed. So after much prayer we decided to put in a humanitarian project to see if we could help them.

  At first go round the project was rejected in Salt Lake City. We had attached it to a larger project that was approved with the provision that we take the Tadic farm out. It was a small project, one that didn't fit any of the guidelines that would make it a good humanitarian project. We felt really sad that there wasn't anything to do about it, but decided to rewrite the project and submit it again as an area project. It still didn't fit any of our guidelines for a humanitarian project. What are those guidelines? Well, mostly they have to do with cost per recipient. We try to keep it around $10. To $15. Per recipient. They are usually done for non-members and the Tadic family are now members, we usually go through partner organizations and not individuals and so you was pretty much a wild card. But we submitted it and to our great delight IT WAS APPROVED!!!!!! It was approved under the "It was just the right thing to do" clause.

It isn't much, but enough to help them build a modest pig building on the little bit of land that they own. There is an old building on the land now that looks like it could fall down any day now, so they are going to take that down. They will use what materials they can salvage out of that building and build a new one with the humanitarian aid money.

We went to the supply store on Monday with Drasco and bought bags of cement, block, and rebar with the money. He was so excited! It was going to be delivered yesterday and with the help of his brother, they were going to start work on a new home for pigs!!! He just couldn't thank us enough! Nor could he wipe the smile off his face. We so hope this will be a start of something good for their family. It is a small beginning for a more self-reliant life.

 They have a mother pig already. She had a litter a while back, but Drasco sold them to a pig farmer because he couldn't afford to feed them once they were weaned from their mother. He also needed what money he could get for them immediately, even if it wasn't as much as he could have gotten if they were old enough to go to market. We are concerned about that aspect of the pig business. He will now have a good place to keep them, with cement floors that can be cleaned and sanitized. But the first few litters, is he going to be able to feed them?

My answer to that problem was to hold a virtual pig auction to help raise money for feed. I thought it would be fun, but Jim vetoed that plan with a grumbling, "I don't think that's what we're here for". Seriously, we can't have a pig auction?? You know, like World Vision, that people adopt kids and send them money to feed and educate them. After my momentary excitement of having a virtual pig adoption agency was dashed, I realized he was right. I hate it that he is always right. It's all part of being self sufficient and I'm sure Drasco will figure it out. But our prayers in behalf of the Tadic family certainly won't hurt the self-suffient directive will it? I invite you all to ask the Lord to poor out his greatest blessings to this little family. They will be blessed I'm sure.

As always,we love and appreciate you all...
Tadic Farm

Bailing hay for the most part has not come to the everyday farmer here in Bosnia, some of the larger farms might have the machinery to do that , but for the most part this is how they store it.

These are the pigs that were sold prematurely. Mama pig had nine in that litter. They can produce around two litters a year.
Q: Where do pigs live and what do they eat?

A: Pigs live on farms or in the wild. Pigs eat corn, potatoes, grains, etc.

Q: Why do pigs roll in the mud?
A: Pigs can not sweat because they have no sweat glands. They roll around in the mud to cool their skins.

Q: What are the mother, father and baby pigs called?

A: A mother pig is called a sow, a father pig is called a boar and a baby pig is called a piglet. A whole group of pigs is called a herd.

Q: How many piglets are usually born at one time?

A: A mother pig can give birth to 8 - 12 piglets in one litter, and she can have 2 litters in one year. One mother pig gave birth to 37 piglets at the same time!

Q: Do pigs like to eat plants or animals?
A: Like people, pigs are omnivorous and can eat both plants or animals.

Q: How loud can a pig scream?
A: The scream of a jet engine taking off measures 113 decibels. The scream of a frightened pig can measure 115 decibels.

Q: What parts of the pig do people use?

A: Pork comes from pigs. Many people love to eat pork. We use a pig's bones & skin to make glue, gloves, shoes and footballs. Pig hair is used for artist's brushes. And their dried bones are used for buttons and bone china.

Q: Can a pig get a sunburn?

A: Yes, pigs are the only animals except for humans that can get a sunburn.

: Can pigs do tricks?
A: Pigs are generally extremely intelligent. Some may learn tricks better than dogs.


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